Senators listen to tapes of Blagojevich at impeachment trial

By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The voice of Gov. Rod Blagojevich boomed through the Illinois Senate chambers as senators listened to secretly recorded conversations in which Blagojevich appears to talk about pressuring people for campaign donations.

The senators conducting the governor's impeachment trial listened intently to the few minutes of tape Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors say the subject of the conversations was whether a horse-racing lobbyist would make a campaign donation. If he didn't, prosecutors say, Blagojevich and his allies were threatening not to sign legislation the racing industry wanted.

Blagojevich never specifically mentions money, but he and the others on the recordings talk about a lobbyist being "good for it" and keeping his "commitment."

At one point, the Democrat says the lobbyist should be told they hope to get done so the two sides can pick a date to sign the legislation.

Listen to audio and and read transcripts of the wiretaps played at the trial. http://www.ilga.gov/senate/InterceptedCommunications.asp

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Associated Press - January 27, 2009 11:14 AM ET

NEW YORK (AP) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he hasn't ruled out legal action if he's impeached.
In a New York City interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Blagojevich said he would respect "the law and the Constitution and the rules" if legislators vote him out of office. But he'll explore his legal options.
The Democrat says he knows he soon could be out of a job, but he says he didn't do anything wrong.
The Illinois Senate is expected to hear secretly made wiretaps on Tuesday. Blagojevich allegedly discusses how he could benefit from his power to appoint President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate successor.
Blagojevich has refused to attend the impeachment trial or mount a defense. Instead, he's been spending this week making the rounds of news and talk shows proclaiming his innocence.

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